When was the last time you slept poorly or skipped a nap and had to immediately get behind a wheel? What about drinking coffee or an energy drink just before hitting the road? You likely don’t do it that often, but many other drivers do.
Many people who rush to work or work late hours are often in two categories: sleep deprived or highly caffeinated. These two conditions can raise the chances of motor accidents. Here’s what you should know:
Driving while caffeinated or sleep deprived can look the same
Whether someone works a night shift or wakes up before the sun rises, coffee is one of many people’s first choices of drink when they need a quick pick-me-up. Small doses of coffee or energy drinks work by increasing activity in the brain and neurological system, raising adrenaline and causing someone to feel focused and alert.
While coffee is a great way to quickly wake up, there’s a potential cost of taking too much. It’s easy for people to underestimate how much caffeine they’ve had and accidentally take larger doses than needed which affects how they function – that includes how they drive. Side effects of caffeine could result in insomnia, increased heart rate, irritability and nervousness.
A restless driver can be a reckless driver. A driver’s symptoms after taking too much caffeine may cause them to drive erratically while unable to focus, causing poor judgment and reaction time and putting themselves and others in danger of vehicle accidents.
Likewise, drowsy drivers may show symptoms similar to someone who’s over-caffeinated. A driver may become sleepy after driving on a long trip without resting, driving just after waking up, because of a sleep disorder or from medication side effects.
Drowsiness can cause a driver to become irritable and create difficulty concentrating. This may result in a driver having poor reaction time and judgment and may eventually cause a driver to fall asleep behind the wheel.
You may have been involved in an accident because a driver was over-caffeinated or fell asleep behind the wheel. Because of their actions, you may have suffered serious injuries and losses that may require the help of a legal team to settle medical fees.